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This section of settings contains the tools that allow you see the status of the network  you are using, change them and configure them to your own preference.  As with the other sections in System settings, we will look at each sub section individually.

Status

Here you will be able to see if you are connected to the internet and will be given a list of available networks to choose from by clicking of ‘show available networks’.  Be clicking on ‘Change connection properties’, you can enable the setting that allow you to connect to the internet automatically.  You can also choose whether your network is private or public for discoverability by other devices and file sharing.

You can also see what network adapters are available and change your connection settings, for instance from WiFi to Ethernet or Bluetooth.  There is a useful troubleshooter in this setting that you can use to diagnose and fix common network problems.

The Sharing options are more advanced options where you can set up a network and use this setting to share files on your PC. 

This setting also has a useful ‘Network Reset’ feature which allow you to reinstall adapters and reset network components to the original factory settings.

WiFi

Here, you can also access the available networks to connect to and view the hardware properties of your computer. Both of these features also appear in the Status settings.

The feature ‘Random Hardware Addresses’ makes it harder for people to track your location if you connect to different WiFi networks.

The Hotspot feature gives a little more security when  you are connected to a public WiFi hotspot

Ethernet

If you connect to the internet using an ethernet cable, you can set and view the settings here.

Dial Up

This tab takes you to the control panel and allows you to set up a new Dial-up connection or network with the following option.

  • Set up broadband or dial-up connections to the Internet.
  • Set up a new router or access point.
  • Connect to a hidden network or create a new wireless profile.
  • Set up a dial-up or VPN connection to your workplace.

It is unlikely you will need this option if you connect directly to you own router via WiFi or ethernet cable.

VPN

VPN, Virtual Private Network, allows you to have a secure connection to other networks over the internet and can hide what you search on the internet by using different IP addresses.

Your IP addresses are identifiers for devices on specific networks. To view your IP address, simply type in ‘My IP’ into Google and you will see your public IP address.

VPNs hides this from other users who snoop around the internet looking to intercept data and even the network operators themselves.

Under Advanced Options, turn on the following settings if desired –

  • Allow VPN over metered networks
  • Allow VPN while roaming

Internet security companies, such as Norton, have easy to set up VPNs to allow you turn on and off VPN from your main IP address.

Airplane Mode

Airplane mode cuts off all internet connections when turns on. If you need to temporarily turn off you connection, use this on/ off function.

Mobile Hotspot

Mobile Hotspot allow you to share your internet connection with other devices which can be shared via Wifi or Bluetooth.

If you find yourself in a place with no WiFi, you can connect your laptop to your phones mobile data by ‘tethering’. You can learn how to do this here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rQ6ACzX5k8

Data Usage

You can check to see the amount of data you used in the last month and this can be viewed as usage per app.  This feature also allows you set limits on the amount of data usage if you have limitations on the amount of WiFi you can use.

Proxy

This section allow you set up your computer to detect proxy settings automatically. You can also adjust setting manually by entering your ip address in the proxy port.

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